There's much to learn when you start a business. When I began to compose music, record, release CDs and perform in the 90s, both the publishing world and the music industry were much less complicated. I listened to some good advice and I registered my trademark, Earth Mama, in the first years of my business. I have the legal standing to defend my trademark and copywritten materials because of the actions I took to protect it.
Trademark registration and copyrights require time and documentation. The investment I have made through the process have strengthened my business and allow me to maintain a brand identity that can be trusted by consumers of my products. As my business grows, adding new products and services, each area maintains the Earth Mama trademark, my seal of quality and commitment.
Fast forward to 2012 and beyond, and I'm more grateful than ever that I took those steps. For anyone considering launching a business, publishing original content in any form or creating a brand that represents products or services, learning how to protect your creation is essential. In an effort to pass on the kind advice which was shared with me, below you will find links to learn more about trademarks and copyrights.
What is a trademark?
"A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. Although federal registration of a mark is not mandatory, it has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration."
The United States Patent and Trademark Office
What is a copyright?
"Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works. Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed."
US Copyright Office